City water customers expected to see 5 percent rate increase

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By Sharon Graves

A 5 percent increase in water rates for Carrollton Utilities water customers is one step closer to becoming a reality, but an increase in sewer rates was put on hold.

After the first reading of an ordinance amendment for the water rate increase during city council Monday, June 8, Carrollton Utilities manager Bill Osborne explained that the sewer rate increase will be put on hold for about six months.

Increases will begin July 1 and will include 18 cents on the in-town rate, the out-of-town rate will increase 23 cents and the General Butler extension will increase 97 cents on the first 1,000 gallons, according to information in the amendment.

Osborne explained to city council that the city has little room for expansion and the increase is necessary.

“Will we ever see a year where we don’t have an increase?” Councilman Dean Miller Jr. asked.

The water system is confined to the city of Carrollton, Osborne explained.  We can’t grow and we use a lot of electricity and chemicals.  “There is a host of increases going on everywhere,” Osborne said.

“I foresee water rates going up,” Mayor Dwight Louden said.

“A big part of our cost is personnel. We’ve looked and there’s not much room to cut,” Osborne said.  In 2003 we were at the top of the list of cities with the lowest rates, Osborne explained.

“It costs what it costs,” Miller responded.  

Osborne explained that they have lost some business with Arkema, a local chemical plant, cutting back on production. But Airgas, a new air separation unit that had its opening a week after this meeting, is expected to be a good customer.

Second reading on the water rate increase is expected to be held at city council’s June 22 meeting at 7 p.m.